Benitez: A good point, but not enough

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez was not satisfied with the point his side earned in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday at St James’ Park.

The Black Cats took the lead through Jermain Defoe just before halftime, but an 83rd-minute equaliser from Aleksander Mitrovic prevented what would have been a seventh consecutive derby defeat for the Magpies.

“To get just one point, I’m not very happy, but the way that we got the point really pleased with the reaction of the players and the fans,” Benitez said after the game.

“I had to give confidence and I had to give them an idea of how to play, how to deal with the situation in the second half, and I think that they did really well. I try to take the positives. You cannot be talking about the negatives all the time because it will change nothing.

“At full-time, it was much better because there had been a bit of frustration because we could do better. The last minute, we were pushing and pushing and we could have won the game, but we didn’t have too much time.”

The result leaves both teams in the relegation zone, with the Magpies a point behind their neighbours and three away from 17th place Norwich City, but the Spaniard saw reason to hope they can still avoid the drop.

“In the situation that we are in, in the table, to see the reaction of the players, the way that we were playing the second half, was really pleasing, and hopefully we can keep this momentum for the next games,” Benitez concluded.

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